By J. Power (Auth.)
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Additional resources for Amnesty International. The Human Rights Story, 0th Edition
It is clearly an exhaustive process. External organizations—church, union, and political— which have live networks inside Guatemala feed him with information all the time. He and other members of the small Amnesty team have to evaluate carefully, learning over time w h o can be trusted, w h o has a propensity to exaggerate, and w h o m they can ask to double- and triple-check. When it came to the central indictment—that these killings were organized in an annex to the central palace—their method of verification and double-checking indicated the difficulty and complexities that confront any outsider investigator.
Amnesty's British section cringed British firms for supplying equipment that was used by Amin's police, responsible for torturing thousands of detainees. It is by n o means a blanket condemnation on the issue of selling arms. Nevertheless, its implications are clear, and have been made plain in El Salvador and Guatemala: Amnesty is going to use its muscle to try and stop governments sending military and police equipment, and the advisers to go with them, whenever are to be used by governments to detain prisoners of conscience, to carry out torture and executions, or to repress innocent and defenseless people.
T h e people killed are often, like these villagers, simple peasant folk, but w h o have shown some initiative like running an earthquake reconstruction committee that badgers the g o v e r n m e n t for help, or a cooperative or church leadership training g r o u p . Overwhelmingly, it is the incipient peasant leadership that has suffered the most. T h e next sizable groups to have been penalized are students and labor leaders. After that, a whole range of professional people have disappeared—journalists, clergy, doctors, and educators and the cream of the Social Democratic and Christian Democratic parties.